Pandemic Poem #34


(Reading tip: if you are reading this on your phone screen, turning the screen sideways will result in a correct placement of each line; otherwise, they are broken up in unusual and not especially poetic fashion.)


Living Through History

Some folks are saying we’re living through history
in response to this pandemic, that this is historic 
as though history only happens when we say so,
when we’re paying attention to events unfolding,
as though we aren’t all living through history
as soon as we slip through the birth canal
to enter this world, as though every creature ever
born, whether alive for moments or a hundred years
isn’t here in that now, doesn’t matter to someone later.
History is always happening and while we’re here
we’re always living through it, whether we wind up
in a book in a classroom or answers on a test, are
a Final Jeopardy question or quietly slide into the
neverending stream of time to join the silent past.


(Originally written 4/23/2020)


I invite those who are also writing creatively in response to the pandemic to share their words in the comments below. I am sharing the “poem-a-day” on Instagram and Twitter, as well; follow me @mridleyelmes !


About Melissa Ridley Elmes

Professor and writer; Unrepentant nerd; chaotic good. Author of Arthurian Things: A Collection of Poems. PhD, MFA. She/hers. Views my own.
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1 Response to Pandemic Poem #34

  1. Tomic Riter says:

    Quite insightful. Indeed, history is always being written whether we are aware of it or not.

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